Unexpected Gaseous Nickel Spewing From Second Known Interstellar Object

Unexpected Gaseous Nickel Spewing From Second Known Interstellar Object

New submitter StellarThoughts writes: Scientists analyzed the second ever known interstellar object, a comet known as 2I/Borisov, and found some very unlikely results. Molecules of nickel and iron were being vaporized and drifting from the surface. Typically, nickel and iron vaporize when comets streak near the sun or aim directly for it, reaching temperatures exceeding 800 degrees Fahrenheit. And instead, this comet was a toasty -135 degrees F. Comparing data with 20 other comets of varying chemical composition within the solar system, they spewed nickel and iron much like 2I/Borisov. Scientists have a few theories, including: “One possibility is that harsh ultraviolet light from the sun might break apart nickel-containing molecules in the comets.” Scientists believe these traces were missed for so long because of the supposed unlikelihood of gaseous metals at such a low temperature.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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